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Saturday, Sep 23, 2006

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JB Chem, Gilead pact on anti-retroviral drug

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Sept. 22

JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd has entered into a non-exclusive licence agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc to make and distribute generic tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, sold by Gilead under the brand name Viread.

Tenofovir is an anti-retroviral, touted to be useful in people who are resistant to other anti-retroviral agents. The drug is indicated for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults, the company said.

New Market

Gilead has granted JB Chem a non-exclusive licensing right to manufacture and distribute generic versions of tenofovir to 95 countries, including India. JB Chem will register and distribute this drug on its own or through its partners/distributors in these countries.

Gilead will provide technology know-how for the bulk-drug and finished product and JB Chem will pay a royalty on net sales of the finished product to Gilead.

According to Mr J.B. Mody, Chairman and Managing Director, the licensing agreement with Gilead marks the company's foray into the Anti-Retroviral (ARV) segment.

JB Chem also plans to launch a specialty division in the second quarter of FY 2007 for marketing ARV drugs in India. At present, the market size for ARV products in India is estimated to be about Rs 100 crore, taking into account the annual sales of ARV drugs worldwide mainly in developing continents such as African Continent, South-East Asia etc., it offers tremendous opportunity for growth, the company said.

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